Book promotion services provide a wide range of services to authors including promotional tours for cover reveals, new releases, and blog tours. Many also offer publishing support features for indie authors like manuscript editing, book formatting, cover design, and book reviews. These are invaluable services to any author which may not necessarily sell books, but go a long way in garnering name recognition for an author and help build the author platform.
When it works.
Recently, a group of authors shared their most recent experiences with promotion services. The emails went from humorous to frustrated to angry quick, fast, and in a hurry.
Not all their complaints were the fault of promotions services. Authors have to be held accountable also.
I’ve been on all sides of promotions—as a blogger, a service provider, and an author and last week, I posted five things for promotion services to remember—this week, it’s the author’s turn.
Authors, when planning a book tour of any type;
Do your homework! Most services have FAQs—read them! Granted, some are more detailed than others, but this simply means you need to ask questions.
Does the service have a wide reach? Many services boast blogger listings of 200, 400, even 800 or more. This is usually followed by a disclaimer stating there is no guarantee on how many bloggers will sign up for the tour. Pay attention.
Where are these bloggers? Facebook? Blogspot? Tumblr? WordPress? Will HTML be provided to tour hosts? Is everything DIY? Does the author receive the tour post too? Does the author receive a copy of all participating blogs?
Are Rafflecopters/giveaways included? Can the author create and include a giveaway?
Make no assumptions and have no expectations of items not discussed. This means you need to…
Get a clear understanding! What exactly are you getting? Most services include tour banners, but do they also have original icons, buttons and/or section dividers? Can you include your logo? Does your tour allow for a synopsis/blurb AND an excerpt? A playlist? Are URLs simply typed out or linked to object or titles?
These things may seem minor weeks before a tour begins, but getting the details agreed upon and confirmed will strengthen business relationships and lead to successful promotions.
Be prepared! Ideally, you have a media kit complete with book covers, buy links, blurbs, excerpts, author bio/photo, and social media links, right?
With the time involved for services to build tours, you may have to book a date even before you’ve finished the book.
But this thing begins and ends with you… and now the clock is ticking. Promo services need as much info as possible from authors to build an event which is appealing to bloggers/readers, so before you book a tour date, make sure you have a timeline for items not yet completed and share it with the service in advance so all parties know what to expect.
Regardless of the items still waiting to be received from editors, cover designers, etc., send the promo service everything you already have.
Follow up! The most repeated comment I’ve heard from authors regarding their upcoming tours was “I haven’t heard from them” when speaking about the service. What are you waiting for – contact them!
Best practices! Whether you’re elated or less than thrilled after a tour, document it and share it with the service.
Was the excerpt too long? Blurb not detailed enough? Did the tour run over a weekend? Should it have? Were you tagged in blogger posts? Did you confirm you would be? Were links broken and never fixed? Were reviews posted in a timely manner? Did YOU stop by blogs and comment? Respond to comments?
Promo tours may not always sell books, but they’re great for getting an author and their work in front of new readers. Authors should remember regardless of whom they hire, it’s the author who’s ultimately responsible for how they’re promoted to the public.
Next week: 5 Things Bloggers Should Do When Hosting Book Tours